Taxis, Busses, Rum and New Friends

    St Croix: We have some friends Pablo and Tatia (s/v Borealis) who wondered why there were no cruisers in St Croix. They had all great things to say after their visit. Since it was one of the islands we missed last year and we were going with the wind and current this time, we thought we'd give it a taste. We loved it and too are surprised there are few cruisers. Checking in was a breeze, especially as US citizens and having registered with the local boater option., getting around was not hard. Pueblo supermarket is within walking distance from downtown Christiansted where we anchored and $2.50 busses available if you need to go farther. The busses can be a bit confusing but a little time talking to a local clears it up quickly.

    The $2.50 bus: Well more like full-size US vans, they are really taxis, and they say taxi, but some are taxis and some are busses, pretty clear eh?

    Well...you just put your hand out and ask when they stop if they are a two-fifty bus. So what you really have is a taxi, but if its driver is willing to play like a bus and you're willing to go along, then it can be a bus. The difference, ahh...the only difference is that as a $2.50 bus you'll share your "taxi" with as many folks as are willing to get in/out along the route, all only paying $2.50 vs the normal fare. And you will get off and on a main route...no deviating down a side street for a door side drop or pickup.

    So there we were... another distillery to visit in our one year circumnavigation of Caribbean Rum tasting but a really long walk away. A taxi at $25? Nope the two-fifty bus with an easy half mile walk down the side road right to the Cruzan Rum Distillery front door.

A nice tour although a bit superficial, (perhaps a result of us getting the one tour guide/host who doesn't drink!) followed by a bit of sampling in their indoor/outdoor host area. One of the most interesting points is that while ALL the rum is made right there in St Croix, it is ALL shipped in bulk to Florida for spicing, flavoring, and bottling. Then we looked at the prices. Yes you can buy a bottle of Cruzan from the distillery for far less than in Florida even after the trip there and back. Hmmm? Oh yea prices...Cruzan dark aged two years was $6.00/750ml bottle. So how much of that can we stand to backpack out to the road for our taxi/bus back to Christenstead? Unfortunately not much.

   We made our meager purchase and packed it up for the trek. So on the way out one of those great cruiser moments occurred as we met a wonderful couple Jorgen and Nonne (s/v Luna) from Denmark. We chatted and shared information, where we're from, where headed all that when I noticed they had several cases of the good stuff. By then I already knew their boat was in Christiansted near ours so I asked if they had a spare seat we could hook a ride back to "Fredrickstad" with them. The second I said that I realized (confirmed by a gentle kick from Lynn) I didn't mean Fredrickstad at all...we weren't going to Fredrickstad. Too late as Jorgan had heartily agreed so yes we were indeed going to Fredrickstad and off we went.

We toured the Dutch fort, after which we shared a picnic lunch on a hillside and a drive back through the forest and countryside to Christiansted. At one point Lynn commented that we didn't want to mess up their plan for the day only to be told "you are now a part of our plan". We could not have asked for a nicer afternoon and a chance to meet another set of friends. Sharing ideas, talk of kids, pets, sightseeing, past and future journeys, sailing weather for the next days and the afternoon was over all too quick. All due to a slip of the tongue, which by chance and the graciousness of new found friends, suddenly became "the plan"


Amanda said...

Danish sailors! Who'd a thought. Love the description of the buses, reminds me a bit of those in Grenada. XO

KnoxDawg said...

I though we had sharpened your med diagmostic skills better than that at Osan! Any graduated 51st SPS guy knows a case of Rum Elbow when he sees it. Easy...just use the other elbow to tilt up those run glasses for awhile :)